Congress and President Trump finally agree on something: the PACT Act, which states that certain acts of animal cruelty should be a federal crime. On Monday the president signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act into law. There was bipartisan support for the legislation. In fact, it passed both the house and the senate unanimously earlier this fall.
The PACT Act: Where It Came From And Trump’s Stance
The PACT Act prohibits extreme acts of cruelty when they occur in interstate commerce or on federal property.
The legislation strengthens and expands a law President Barack Obama signed in 2010, one that prohibits graphic videos showing animal torture.
Now the feds can prosecute animal cruelty, even if there’s no video of the crime. If convicted, animal abusers could face up to seven years in prison, plus additional fines.
“This should have happened a long time ago and it didn’t,” President Trump said at the bill’s signing ceremony. “It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty, which are totally unacceptable in a civilized society.”
New Law Mends Gap
All 50 states have the ability to charge those accused of animal cruelty with a felony. But until now there was no federal ban against the crime. Animal advocates said it was a gap in the law.
“After decades of work to protect animals and bearing witness to some of the worst cruelty, it’s so gratifying the Congress and president unanimously agreed that it was time to close the gap in the law and make malicious animal cruelty within federal jurisdiction a felony,” Sara Amundson, the President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund said.
“We cannot change the horrors of what animals have endured in the past, but we can crack down on these crimes moving forward. This is a day to celebrate.”
The Scope Of The PACT Act
The PACT Act goes into effect immediately. It does not apply to people who hunt, trap, fish or slaughter animals for food. It also does not apply to those who use animals for medical or scientific research.
This article was originally published at Grit Daily and a lightly-edited version of her article has been syndicated.
Final Note: If you work at an animal welfare organization, we would love to hear your thoughts on the PACT Act. Feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.